Teacher trainees from the New Year will be eligible for an increase in their stipends.
This announcement was made yesterday by President David Granger as he delivered the feature address at the 83rd Graduation Ceremony of the Cyril Potter College of Education [CPCE].
According to the President, “we have been very concerned about the low level of stipends and from financial year 2018 resident [teacher] trainees will have an increase of their stipend by 66 percent.” Resident trainees, up to recently, were eligible for a stipend of $5,500 but will now be afforded the sum of $9,160.
Non-resident teacher trainees on the other hand will see their stipend moving from $7,500 to $11,440.
The president made it clear that “we know it is not much, it is the best that we can do for now.” But the announcement evoked a bout of resounding applause from the graduates. This is in spite of the fact that they will not benefit, but rather, the cohort of teachers in training.
“Your sacrifice will benefit the next cohort…but we know the difficulties that you had undergone as students and we will continue to make life more comfortable for you,” the President told those graduating yesterday.
A move in this direction, according to the President, is deliberate since it is designed to ensure that they are able to fulfil their intended role.
Teachers, according to the President, are pivotal to realising the aspiration of quality education of building a cohesive nation of one people, one nation and one destiny.
“You teachers are the foundation of our public education system, without you we cannot achieve our aim of quality education of producing students with the correct attitudes with the knowledge and skills and values and standards not only for their personal development but for the public good,” the Head of State amplified.
Education, he underscored, is a public good that aims at the total development of society thus serving to remove social inequalities, the reduction of poverty and increase of opportunities.
As he deliberated on the importance of education yesterday, President Granger emphasised that education is not optional, but is compulsory at some levels, and in every society in the world it is obligatory.
“In Guyana we feel it is an entitlement,” said President Granger, especially since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to education…education should be free, at least the elementary and fundamental stages.”
As he stressed the need for education to be readily available, President Granger pointed out that elementary education should be compulsory and technical education should be made generally available, while higher education should be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
In fact he highlighted that, “our Constitution in Guyana affirms this right. At Article 149, our Constitution states that ‘every child is entitled to free primary and secondary education in schools owned or funded by the State’.” The constitution also states that ‘the State is to provide a system of inclusive and quality education and it is the duty of the State to provide education that will include [a] curriculum designed to reflect the cultural diversity of Guyana and the disciplines that are necessary to prepare students to deal with social issues and to meet the challenges of the modern technological age’.”
With the forgoing in mind, the President noted, “You can see the tremendous burden that the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights places on the CPCE in Guyana.”
But according to Granger, since he is committed to the Constitution and is concerned about teacher training, he has been seeking to ensure that measures are in place to enhance the operation of CPCE.
For this reason, the President said that back in July he visited CPCE.
“I came to learn
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